All of my primary education was split between two schools in Bangalore the Air force school and Kendriya Vidyalaya No - 2 Jalahalli east, quite understandably a majority of my classmates were children of personnel from different armed forces in the country.
|Behind all the Greenery - Kendriya Vidyalaya No- 2|
My childhood buddies came from all four corners of the state, and by spending time with such a diverse population on a daily basis I became fairly well acquainted with many different cultures, diets, dialects which amalgamated into our navy blue and white uniform making us feel like one despite all our differences.
I took pride in saying that some of my best friends were from parts of the country which took days to reach by road or rail.
The only problem was that every 3 years my class would get reshuffled, most of my classmates would get transferred to other parts of India and a new batch of students would arrive none of whom knew me or was familiar with my ways.
Every time this happened I had to learn to reset and adapt to the new circumstances.
It was something I had come to accept over the many years at school, but irrespective of the amount of time spent in preparing myself to say goodbye, every single time I had to bid adieu to a friend it hurt me bad.
What caused me the most anguish was the fact that i was always the one getting left behind, I was never the one who got to walk away.
Those were simpler days, there was no email, there were no social networks, no whats app and in fact even mobile phones were a rarity.
Yes of course we had the postal service and whenever a student left he or she would promise to write and eventually, over time forget about it.
I can distinctly recall one particular incident where my ‘Kulfi’ loving friend Pavan wrote back to us nearly 6 months after leaving for J & K, we were surprised when the school peon walked in with a large envelope addressed to the members of class VIII A, it was a beautifully written letter, he had gone on for pages about the beauty of the Kashmir valley and how he missed each and every one of us.
The idiot had however forgotten to mention his address at the end.
2 years back when I graduated from medical school and the last days of my internship started drawing near, I became increasingly aware of the fact that this time around, I was going to be the one leaving the group of my friends behind, and that wasn't any less painful.
I belonged to the first batch of students in the college, my friends included people from batches that came 1, 2, 3 and even 4 years after i joined.
I can never forget my last official day at the college, it was emotionally overwhelming.
As they waved at me when I boarded the bus for possibly the last time as their senior in the college, in the eyes of two of my junior friends Nikhita and Meghana I saw the same look that I used to have when I watched my classmates leave one by one at school,
Very recently,September 3rd 2013 was the last day of Hemanth aka Marcus Murthy the most celebrated and multifaceted personality to walk the campus of Raja-Rajeswari Medical College & Hospital.
|A long long time ago, there lived a child genius named Hemanth|
We had a small get together a few days before he left where we reminisced some of the fondest memories of the times we have had over the years and while leaving when Abhishek and Nikhita handed me a book to write down an autograph for Marcus I realized that one page wasn’t going to be enough to write about a friend I have known for over 7 years now.
Believe it or not my earliest memory of Hemanth is of a chubby young boy struggling to perform sit ups at a competition in the college’s first ever freshers day, I also remember him singing a song on the stage the very same day (and NO ! I am not lying).
Chapter 1. Marcus the music lover
The next time was at a deep purple concert , that was probably the event that led to our friendship.
When I saw him the day after the gig at college, he was overjoyed and somewhat relieved to finally have someone at the college who loved heavy metal as a genre even though his interest was exponentially higher than me.
I was just beggining to like iron maiden then, Hemanth had gotten over the band by that time, and everyone who listens to heavy metal knows that getting over maiden can only mean that you have moved on to much louder and heavier stuff.
It was after meeting him that I realized what it is like being a die hard fan of something, take iron maiden for example, He had CDS of every single album they'd ever made, DVD's of every concert they've released and a huge collection of T shirts and Posters of the band.
Believe it or not barely 6 months after our initial interaction Iron Maiden toured India for the very first time and performed in Bangalore.
Then others followed Sepultura, Aerosmith, Megadeth, Metallica and at every gig Hemanth was there.
|At another concert in the city|
Chapter 2. Marcus the movie buff
A year later, when orkut was spreading its wings across the country Hemanth and I incidentally started a topic about movies, it turned out that his knowledge about film and television was incredible, I was blown away by his personal collection of movies.
Our discussions switched back and forth from music to movies, there was so much trivia for us to share, so many other genres to explore, and yet there was a lot more to the man than just a passion for music and movies.
Chapter 3, Marcus the Nerd !!!
|The Distinction holder.|
When i started my 1 year of compulsory rotatory internship, I began using the college bus to commute. Hemanth usually sat in the back seat listening to music, sleeping or just quietly staring out of the window, every morning he saved a seat for me, I would occasionally carry my entrance exam books with me and try to answer some of the questions therein, it was here that I realized what an in depth understanding of medicine Hemanth possessed, his basics were so strong that he managed to accurately answer some of the toughest questions in the book within unbelievably short periods of time using only his power of reasoning.
But wait, the best was yet to come.
Chapter 4, Marcus Murthy- The Prankster, The Comedian, The Dancer, The Singer & The Gujarati.
Nick names come and go, but sometimes they are so perfect that people prefer using them to our real names.
Like many discoveries that were made by accident, the name Marcus moorthy too came by when he tried to come up with a false name to confuse the newest batch of juniors who had just arrived at the college, little did we know that over the days that followed the whole college would start referring to him as Marcus completely ignoring his real birth name.
|Marcus with Meghana-Probably his biggest fan on planet earth.|
Through this blog I have often tried to describe how sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that bring people close, I have referred many times to ‘The group’ in this post, it may startle you to know that there was no group as such till four months before I left the college, and the thing that brought us together was literally dumb, I mean it, it was dumb, Dumb Charades !!!
|Busy making names up, thats all!|
Hemanth, Jaydeep and me v/s Poorva, Radhika, Shanmuga Priya, Meghana, Nikhita, Anusha, and everyone else who wished to join in.
Despite all the others in the bus putting their heads together, they seldom came up with a name that the three
of us couldn’t guess.
of us couldn’t guess.
|The Back Seaters|
In all fairness, they weren’t bad either, Poorva was their teams star performer, her acting prowess can be defined by the ease with she successfully enacted the movie names like ‘Synecdoche New York’ & ‘ Being John Malkovich’ correctly.
|Poorva and Nikhita|
Jaydeep stopped using the bus and we were left with no one who could do the acting for our team.
Our Prayers for a team mate experienced in sign language were answered when Abhishek joined the college,his acting was so amazing that we started calling him ‘Oscar Abhi’, he has since then been renamed 'Elvis the Pelvis' he is presently preparing to overthrow PSY with his song & dance skills.
|Oscar Abhishek with Radhika|
It was during these games and discussions we became increasingly aware of Marcus’s multitalented personality.
He used the words ‘Kem Cho’ like a pure Gujarati and did the moonwalk like it was nobody’s business.
|Kung Fu !|
It was some of the things he said, the pranks he pulled that helped me understand what it meant to laugh out loud or roll on the floor laughing.
When I look back now the days spent in bus number 3090 were among the best of my entire time at college.
I was the first to leave.
Marcus moved into final year, and Poorva started internship.
A year later even Poo had to move on to the next phase of her life.
In less than a 15 months Nikhita’s batch of students will have to turn around and look one last time before the image of the college fades from their sight and becomes a memory.
A year after that Oscar will play the role of the senior who bids a tearful farewell to his friends and fans alike.
By then the back row of the bus would have been replaced by newer students, many of whom won’t even know that we existed, that we laughed till our bellies hurt, poked fun at one another, fought and even cried in the very same seats.
Thus goes life.
‘Life of Pi’ was a great movie for many reasons.
The thing that blew me away was what Pi had to say in the penultimate scene of the film-
“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”
Finally, what I have to say to Marcus and everyone else in the gang is that in life we may have to say goodbye or let go of things we love from time to time but nothing can take away the memories of moments we have spent together.
To this Hemanth would probably say – Well Thomas, what about dementia ? !
You know what Marcus, I dont think even Alzheimers can :-)
And just like I mentioned in your slam book, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next.
As Always, Yours Truly